AAA expects Labor Day travel to bounce back to near pre-pandemic levels

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 6:29 AM CDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Whether you’re planning to fly or drive for the holiday weekend, experts advise travelers to prepare for anything.

AAA expects the Labor Day weekend travel volume to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, as it did for the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays. Travelers are expected to take to the roadways despite higher than usual gas prices.

Experts also say road trips are expected to rule during the holiday weekend.

Record high summer gas prices haven’t stopped road trippers, and AAA does not expect Labor Day weekend to be any different.

To help motorists prepare, AAA’s spokesperson Morgan Dean advises people to travel during off-peak hours.

“Friday is a really busy day when it comes to traffic, especially late in the afternoon; that’s because there’s going to be other Labor Day travelers out there. We’re also going to have that evening rush hour and in some cases for golf or have college football fans out there trying to get to tailgates and to get to the games and everything else out there,” said AAA’s Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean.

Gas prices have been dropping for more than two months:

The national gas price average has dropped $1.13/gallon since setting an all-time high record of $5.01/gallon June 14.

The national average is still about 73 cents higher than it was this time last year. The Virginia average is down $1.19 from the peak of $4.86 set back on June 14.

Despite lower gas prices this year, drivers are seeing some of the highest prices ever at the pump for Labor Day. The last time prices were this high in Virginia for the holiday was in 2012.

AAA also says even though Labor Day weekend signals the unofficial end of summer, it’s not too late to make sure your vehicle is road-ready if you haven’t done so already. AAA recommends a full vehicle inspection.

Ten Car Care Tips from AAA

  • Check the tire pressure of all tires – don’t forget to check the spare – if you have one!
  • Check tire tread – Exchange.AAA.com offers a simple visual check using a penny or a quarter
  • Check to make sure your battery is in good working order (most batteries last 3-5 years); a AAA Approved Repair facility will do this for FREE
  • Check air conditioning
  • Check windshield wipers to make sure they are in good working order
  • Check fluids
  • Check headlights for functionality and clean lenses
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can call for help if needed
  • Make sure your AAA membership is up to date
  • Stock a Summer Emergency Kit with jumper cables, tools, first aid supplies, flashlight with fresh batteries, road flare or reflective triangle, extra medications, snacks, water